More Than Half of Data is Dark
May 1, 2019
Survey Finds New Skill Sets and AI to Be the Future; Organizations Not Turning Massive Data Opportunity into Meaningful Business Outcomes
Research shows organizations are ignoring potentially valuable data and don’t have the resources they need to take advantage of it. The research reveals that although business executives recognize the value of using all of their data, more than half (55 percent) of an organization’s total data is “dark data,” meaning they either don’t know it exists or don’t know how to find, prepare, analyze or use it.
The State of Dark Data Report, built using research conducted by TRUE Global Intelligence and directed by Splunk, surveyed more than 1,300 global business managers and IT leaders about how their organizations collect, manage and use data. In an era where data is connecting devices, systems and people at unprecedented growth rates, the results show that while data is top of mind, action is often far behind.
“Data is hard to work with because it’s growing at an alarming rate and is hard to structure and organize. So, it’s easy for organizations to feel helpless in this chaotic landscape,” says Tim Tully, chief technology officer, Splunk. “I was pleased to see the opportunity people around the world attach to dark data, even though fewer than a third of those surveyed say they have the skills to turn data into action. This presents a tremendous opportunity for motivated leaders, professionals and employers to learn new skills and reach a new level of results. Splunk can help those organizations feel empowered to take control of identifying and using dark data.”
Respondents are Slow to Seize Career and Leadership Opportunities
While respondents understand the value of dark data, they admit they don’t have the tools, expertise or staff to take advantage of it. Plus, the majority of senior leaders say they are close enough to retirement that they aren’t motivated to become data-literate. Data is the future of work, but only a small percentage of professionals seem to be taking it seriously. Respondents agree there is no single answer, though the top solutions having potential included training more employees in data science and analytics, increasing funding for data wrangling, and deploying software to enable less technical employees to analyze the data for themselves.
AI is Believed to Be The Next Frontier for Data-Savvy Organizations
Globally, respondents believe AI will generally augment opportunities, rather than replace people. While the survey revealed that few organizations are using AI right now, a majority see its vast potential. For example, in a series of use cases including operational efficiency, strategic decision making, HR and customer experience, only 10 to 15 percent say their organizations are deploying AI for these use cases while roughly two-thirds see the potential value.
Regional Differences Fuel Range of Opinions: China Furthest Ahead in Understanding the Potential of Dark Data
The research also discovered some distinct differences in attitude and opinion between the seven countries polled. For example, French, German and Japanese respondents seem less concerned about the value of data skills to their careers, with affirmative answers roughly 25 percent lower on average, than their counterparts in other countries. Respondents in China overwhelmingly voice the most enthusiasm and confidence in AI but their current adoption is only slightly higher than the global average. (20 to 16 percent)